American Express Rolls Out New Program for Christmas

Marketing Matters aires live every Wednesday from 5 – 7 Eastern Standard Time.  Each week you will hear our co-hosts speak on diferente áreas of marketing from retail, customer analytics, excetera.  And when Jerry and I host together we talk about the world of advertyising.  So just a little bit of a brief introduction.  We really do have a great show ahead

From the Pacific University of Pennsylvania one school this is marketing matters on business radio by the Wharton School. Hello and welcome You’re listening to marketing matters here on business radio powered but it wouldn’t school where you host for the next two hours and we have a very exciting show playing for you I’m very willing professor of marketing you’re at war two and academic director of the Wharton future about a thousand program and I’m Catherine Hayes executive director of the work and future of advertising program marketing matters airs live every Wednesday from five to seven Eastern time each week you’ll hear our co-host speak on different areas of marketing retail customer analytics cetera and when Jerry and I host together we talk about the world of advertising so just a little bit of a brief introduction we really do have a great show I had I wanted to take a minute or two about to let you know what’s coming up as you know of course the busy holiday shopping season is right around the corner for those of you who are in your cars on the way to the stores right now to get ahead of it all we’re all very familiar with Black Friday and now of course Cyber Monday when everybody shops online which has become such a really big part of part of our culture and for major retailers this is the prime season but the question that we want to ask today and to share with you and to focus on is what about small businesses what happens to them first we’ll be joined by Nicole lineback Rolla she’s American Express’s official spokesperson for Small Business Saturday initiative in fact that’s what we’re going to be talking today about all day if you haven’t heard of Small Business Saturday yet Nicole be telling us all about it and why American Express developed it five years ago after nickel we’re going to be welcoming Liz Koonce here Liz is the neighborhood champion of Ambler Main Street here in the Philadelphia area so we’ll be hearing from her. About how they’re gearing up for this exciting Saturday event after Thanksgiving and then in the second hour we’re going to be joined by Rand neater Hoffer and Rand is the senior program manager for Etsy and will talk to us about these partnership with American Express this year for the Small Business Saturday initiative and tell us a little bit about Etsy itself and later in the show Michelle Smith who’s the owner of a really beautiful boutique called gather in North Carolina will be calling in to talk about why they as a retailer are working with at sea to host an Etsy seller in their store on Small Business Saturday so we’re hoping that this is going to be a great show for you too for those of you who are small businesses for those of you who love small businesses for those of you who love your communities for those who you who work in small businesses and know the importance of it in your community and in your world we hope that you will call in during the show we’re going to have some great folks who can give you some insight so if you have a small business or if you want to understand and ask some questions about small business Saturday call us and telling what you’re doing especially if you’re going to be participating in Small Business Saturday the lines are open at one eight four four Wharton That’s one eight four four nine four two seven eight six six and with that let’s go ahead and get started we want to welcome our first guest Nicole linebacker Nicole welcome to the show Hi Thanks for having me thanks thanks for being with us so we understand that you are the official spokesperson or one of the official spokespersons for American Express mall business Saturday so before we get into the Small Business Saturday tell us a little bit about you. Great yeah I’m privileged here to help support the Small Business Saturday movement which I’ve been doing for many years now from two thousand and ten when it first came to life I’m also the founder of recount minded dot com which lifestyle publication that exclusively support. Small businesses so I also like to always say I’m a small business owner myself and I work with small businesses so I really have such a big heart for the small business community and so why small businesses how how did your career revolve around small businesses. You know my career prior to actually founding we’ve come mind it in two thousand and seven was working for major retailers that included North. America and you know I gained so much knowledge and had so much opportunity to really understand the dynamics of retail and consumers as well but you know I go back that passion as many of us are motivated by my passion with actually with the small businesses that help bring character and charm and economic impact to our communities nationwide and that’s what led me ultimately to want to open my own business to help support those business owners so I was able to take some of the strength and knowledge that I had experienced during my professional 1
SegmentHandler career and turned into something that could help bring support for others and so when we talk about small businesses your particular interest is in the retail arena retail small businesses correct that is correct and defined as under under one hundred police you had technically you know that many variations of it but under one hundred employees it’s perceived as a small business and you know I would. Anybody that’s of how the service or a product that is selling to a consumer so you could be a coffee shop or you could be a little book speak and it really does fall into the talk out of Gori So there’s so many businesses out there that fall into this particular profile got it and so just to set the stage for the conversation today. Tell us a little bit about you know some of the unique challenges that small businesses face these days and compete. Adding with the big box stores especially during this busy holiday shopping we had Yeah absolutely and I think one of the biggest challenges is that as a small business owner you are forced to work on a budget as many businesses but it’s much more limited than your competitors and so on a small budget you have to get creative and really use every dime and resource you can to maximize the reach of potential customers and existing customers and how you do that is so very important it’s one of the reasons I love Small Business Saturday because it brings national attention to something that small businesses can really make uniquely yours they can make it about a day that. Ends up being something or one of their best of the year for example we know that small business owners are also a force with time they’re challenged with time they have so much on the do and so factor in budget you factor in time and it’s a huge concern because small business owners and again one more reason why a lot of small business Saturday it’s because they make it nearly turnkey for the small business owners to bring a pub life its first person live opportunities for them to create messages that garners from us I mean that they can bring into their businesses and again that saving time for these business owners as well as. It’s very isn’t you know there’s nearly no cost at all except you know times if you’d like a print on piece of paper but if you sign up in advance you could even have receptive over to your doors so time and budget are such huge challenges that small business owner space and I think that two of the driving force of among small business owners that the complexity with every day so tell us a little bit about how does this bill business today really help address those two issues they resource allocation told the budget in time other than the example you gave us already. Of course so Small Business Saturday was founded in two thousand and ten and we’re in its fifth year now and it’s the cell of the Tory kickoff to the holiday season and what small business Saturday does is it generates national attention from communities and customers and small businesses nationwide they’re working so hard all year round to support the shop small movement in general and the Small Business Saturday it’s really day to celebrate that So as a small business owner what you can do to get involved is very simply go to shop small dot com Take advantage of the free resources there that make it turn key I always like to use the example of that you know small business owners typically don’t have their own P.R. team behind them but American Express Small Business Saturday is providing that for them it’s as if they have their own published between supporting them and rallying behind them and giving them a lot of attention so small business owners can maximize that and they can also cut to my foot to make it something uniquely girders they can work within their communities come together within their own home towns and communities such as the mean streets programs or chambers and take that shot small message and bring it home they can attach a local name to it so for example I’m based in the pen for area and our local community is called Parker and Parker does something called Shop Parker and then the attest that message to the Small Business Saturday campaign because their customers and residents are aware of it all you’re bound and so when they see it applied to that small business Saturday campaign it suddenly makes sense to customers so this is a really nice. Way for both small business owners and communities of small business owners to lean on the Small Business Saturday message to make it cares if the person is Asian goes beyond the name can you personalize into a mood to specific offering for the. Or they customize it all the way to the customers of the store absolutely innocent fun part there’s been some great examples of small businesses across the country who have really taken this and made it something fun for example there’s been some stores that have actually made a passport program 2
SegmentHandler and that has put program connects all the small businesses but then their local community and encourages customers to go from one sort of the next and get punched within that passport card it’s actually a printed out Coast card like any punch at. Other communities have actually made parades to celebrate Small Business Saturday and so they’re kicking off the holiday season on Small Business Saturday. The mayors are elected officials can come involved we encourage small businesses to invite their elected officials their mayors there are notable local celebrities a few well docile like you guys have I think coming on later we encourage them to work with local vendors that sell on at or bring in other vendors from current brands exists within their store to have trunk shows so there’s a lot of dynamics involved and I think what makes it really unique said each store each small business can customize the data makes sense for them so the new description it sounds like it wonderful community builder builds got them to community the morale the excitement. What can you tell us about the results how how effective has it been for the participating stores great question last year in two thousand the PM the shop small movement in seven zero lead to customers spending more than five point seven billion dollars And this year that’s expected to be even greater because there’s more communities getting involved there’s more businesses registered to be a part of Small Business Saturday which is free to do you simply go to shops are about to start. And you have path. The visibility is becoming stronger last well in a small business Saturday insight survey that took place seventy seven percent of consumers that we’re aware of Small Business Saturday plan to actually shot small so that’s a huge number that’s over three quarters of consumers telling us that they will shop small but you have any data and these are impressive numbers especially the five point seven billion and the seventy seven percent it were but at the individual store level do you have any data into home showing us what is the lift that the store owner can expect of participating in small business. You know I can tell you first that I visited a store last year in Geneva Illinois called Peaceful parlor describes itself as an eco chic with teak of general merchandise and she had been open five years at this time and at that store and on that day she made a really big deal about it generated local press leading up to small business Saturday a priest and also after small business Saturday it was the number one sales day for her in her entire five year store history because she had more sales that day than any other day ever in five years have you seen any of the stores trying to take the lessons from day of small business Saturday and try to apply them during the year to other side or the other days other events and does American Express actually provide support for some of these during the year or is everything just this one kind of key day that everything culminates there well Small Business Saturday itself is a singular day that takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving but it does kick off the seize them so the message of shop continues throughout the holiday shopping season and actually it’s a port and continues all year round for the shop small message it’s all year round and it’s a great question that you asked do small businesses try to leverage this all year. Around from my experience working with small businesses yes absolutely the shop messages something that is so important to small business owners and I’ve seen a lot of success with merchants and other small businesses who disagree help communicate the message of why shop at small matters and then when their consumers hear that and the local residents of the community hear that it does resonate with them and want them to shop more in small places so it’s a year long message to shop small but the actual day of small business Baradei is November twenty ninth and just just to stick take a step back I know you’ve helped us to ground and just generally certainly when Small Business Saturday isn’t and why it’s so important can you just walk us through Let’s pretend that Jerry and I have our own small business here on campus or just off campus because we probably are not supposed to do it on campus but campus and we want to participate and we we want to get started we think it sounds good somebody mentioned it to us how do we get started what do we do and what happens from there. So the very first thing I tell you I think you go to shop small. And what you can get Gare is as a small business owner you can actually save up because if you’re taking a play that you apply to participate in Small Business Saturday what will happen if you would then become a part of an interactive map. That allows consumers to locate you as a small business on top Nice work but it also gives the American Express shops small moments 3
SegmentHandler are eighteen a chance to also support you in the sense that they are going to give you resources and free marketing materials at this time now though it’s their return pre and it’s been made very very simple it does take a few actions steps small business owners to actually insert their store names your small business means and actually. Take the time to simply put it up on the social media pages there’s actually share button however to make it super easy from the Shop dot com website but you do it if you do just a few clicks to make those things happen the other thing is that if we were talking to Steven A couple weeks ago the shop. For a promotional package that comes in the mail for actually gets to your door or the business store and it’s still there with things like a place a welcome mat alludes to. Other things that are branded with the Small Business Saturday method and every year I would encourage your listeners next year to make sure that they you know go to shop small dot com and time to get those wonderful free resources because there’s still time now to go online to get other wonderful freebie choices and then the other thing is take advantage of the press release templates that shop small provides because that encourages you to very easily reach out to your local media and try to bring more awareness to the shop small message but also more specifically to your business and so they so what they should do is first of November sort of put it on their calendars as they’re thinking to gear up for the holiday season is there is there they do it right now for next year while they’re thinking about it or did does that sort of happen in a market that’s changed and they have plenty of time now to still take advantage of two thousand and fourteen opportunities that are totally free on line. Although the package isn’t going to come to their door there’s still an abundance of free things that are available online that they can use within their marketing efforts online in for and store it for next year it’s about three weeks out before that’s when they need to tell you what actually encourage them like mid October then a small business owner you know you’re typically planning in advance I love the idea of starting a countdown November first so you know this November it would be twenty. And I know it’s a way you start that message in your social media in your store if you have a rubber stamp you can you know change the days on and stamp every receipt that comes through it’s one more way to voice. And say twenty nine days twenty eight days twenty seven days and then you get closer and closer you can share why so for every day that passes you know here’s the count here’s why you should come up on November twenty ninth so but that’s still there’s still time for that you can still do that now with the ten day countdown right in terms of getting that seven day but when you think about the message today kind of the reason why should they consumers saw up in small stores is the emphases of the message from early on it’s got to be responsibility as a community you build a community much more along the lines of. What’s called today sometime in the purpose of the business or is it more in terms of would offer you a terrific deals week of a great selection they can customize what is the balance between kind of day appeal to the community to disassociate responsibility versus kind of the selfinterest of the top or. This would be questioners it’s a loaded question if there’s a few ways to go here Small Business Saturday plays hide and seek between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and the bottom line is that shopping small kids back to community give back to your neighborhood and it gives value to your economic impact so I encourage consumers to listen to that messaging that the small business owners can share with them and I encourage small business owners to share that message but also make it a day worth celebrating so offering special incentives or promotional opportunities is going to excite your customer but remember to thank them for shopping small also shares the message of why coming to their store business and spending money impacts. Community so there’s so many layers here not only is a small business impacted but the community itself is impacted in the customer not all of them not going to assist but the customer is in fact impacted when they choose to spend money at their own local business and for those of you who are just tuning in this is Katherine Hayes and I’m with Professor Jerry when we’re here on marketing matters on Sirius X.M. one eleven and we’re talking with Nicole linebacker who is American Express’s official spokesperson for Small Business Saturday. Business Saturdays coming up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year on November twenty ninth Gerri. So the question is it’s sound like the Small Business Insider The program is a great upgrade in terms of the tools and they approach that 4
SegmentHandler small businesses can use in their business have you found in kind of your experience an interaction with the stores that are using it that this is really kind of a kick start to upgrade their marketing quality their advertising their web presence or this is just one event or using American Express to try to help them publicize but then they go back to their kind of normal way of doing business I actually think it’s the first I do think that it does give a jump start to stronger marketing another day to look forward to it and you will be so it repeats itself every year every Saturday after Thanksgiving and it gives retailers a challenge to do better every year for their own individual sales I also think that it kicks off the holiday season so it’s really not though it is a one day message of Small Business Saturday it’s also the Celebrate kickoff to the holiday season so it gives retailers an excuse to really maximize that punch that small business Saturday delivers. Take it with that throughout the entire holiday season have you tried to measure or do you know if American exposed to stories do get of what he is. Basically delivered they get for this one day and then bodies the continuation of what’s happening off to the client that could continue maintaining the same level of sales for the month of December. What do we know about kind of the immediate and slightly longer term impact of this promotion we hear again and again individual business owners that small business Saturday give it tremendous lift in their sales on that K. but also help shape the holiday season for themselves I know a Pennsylvania merchant by the name of misrule time bomb which is actually a bid to shop their owner Sara Tabby in two thousand and twelve she estimated that her store bought him seventy five percent more in sales on a typical Saturday on the Saturday and Siri relish in Geneva Illinois told us about her store peaceful parlor had its best day in five years but it also continued visibility and in the weeks that followed because of the media attention she got after small business Saturday the people came in unaware of her story before saw it in the local newspaper or in team and because of that story that was shared and so these are reasons why it we do encourage small business owners to take advantage of the press release template that shop small dot com Share with their local media continue to leverage the Small Business Saturday message throughout the season and we know sales are increasing as a result so for our listeners today we’re talking with Nicole who’s an official spokesperson for American Express a small business Saturday she’s going to be with us for another five five minutes or so so I encourage you to take this opportunity to to call in the phone lines are open at one eight four four Wharton. That’s one eight four four nine four two seven eight six six and we do have a collar so I wanted to ask Jeff in Missouri what’s on your mind. I there was just listening as I was driving in my car and we have a. Women to take on a county where in Oxford Mississippi and everything’s see if that is true and we promote this I mean like our shop there stays on our front door your route you know we also have a conglomerate of about seven the stores restaurants and twelve professional businesses on our council where that we all leverage social media and media you have easiest thing it’s free and you get so much exposure but the other thing I want to get the physically address on that Friday is that everybody is so overwhelmed getting up and getting early going to get deal we’d love for people to come into our store and provide an experience that a lot of customers have forgotten about well we have a lot of promotion on a cashmere sweater on a cop car but possibly but the other thing it is is that when you go into a unique store where you don’t see everything else that you see in the market that there’s been a hand then for our community you know we have people that make trips to our and that Heathrow are our economy and our small there’s the air that people have forgotten that you know you’re buying. Promotions are great and they’re great in the electronics world but you know and the apparel all of the opposite way but the experience that somebody had that they come into my store and buy back cashmere scarf I go into white tablecloth arrestor together bookstore you know in miles of our trade area they get to experience all that in one area with no franchise stores in it we’re sort of unique in that we’re all attached to college and to a large AK university that fire so we can have the best buy for that job small in just a great vibe for a small store like ours is. Starting this year that thanks for sharing with us and I think especially for emphasizing and reminding the listeners of the importance of the customer experience when disrupting experience that the great but I think question to you you know enough now that you had experience was them is there anything else you would like American 5
SegmentHandler experience to offer as powered business Saturday that is the being offered today. I mean you know you could be brings all I provide for expert in providing you know a list of you know approximately one hundred maybe you have never been in our store or you know from out of bankers right they have more big. Box for the fabric crap that would be anything to do but they do a great job. Of that not only as an individual store we use that but our square a lot that we get as we call it that is well thank you so much Jeff that’s great insights Nicole and any thoughts on how retailers can take advantage of the this notion of the difference between the customer experience on a wonderful small business Saturday versus the. Black Friday literally some kinds. Yes You know I think one of the wonderful things that callers mentioned is in fact that small businesses to deliver so much customer care and unique service that blackbody simply can not. Offer it doesn’t offer I think that consumers we can make that choice as individuals if we’ve ever experienced that and time and time again we hear that small businesses deliver the best and that’s a message certainly we don’t want to lose and so I think helping to share that in your message and in promotional outreach for Small Business Saturday can’t can’t do anything but help. So I know that you have a book retail one o one I just wanted to while we’ve got a few minutes left here if you can reach into the pages of that book. Look and really pull out for small businesses what are your top three tips for independent retailers as they look toward small business Saturdays but but really beyond Given your air of expertise Yeah absolutely you know I think the first step is to recognize you don’t have to do it alone so many small business owners do speed all that sort of solo presence in their day to day effort but the movement like Small Business Saturday and there’s you know your radio show for example there’s so many fabulous resources for small the owners to lean on and I encourage them to do just that because sometimes they get lost in their days and they do feel alone and they don’t take the time to become educated or for that matter simply supported with other associations or groups or small business owners or media networks and so I do encourage people to for sure realize you’re not alone in that they could be an end of the fantastic resource about there to help you do it the other thing I would recommend to small business owners is to stay on top of your competition not just your big box competition playroom local competition I actually encourage people to get into the stores not just you know scan their online websites but actually walk through your competitors and see what’s going on because you couldn’t not just observe and experience and firsthand the customer care that’s taking place where the product of sort meant that’s happening where the services are up or opportunities that are taking place but you can also come home with that and analyze how it impacts whether any good or bad way your business managed to sort of a critical analysis of you know be honest with yourself illative what else you’re seeing out there it’s great Absolutely and in the book I actually give you a you know a twenty point checklist on ways you can understood us because it is so important to be aware of your competition box business alike and on that note I do want to add to support your other small business and that’s you know. While you might be reviewing them as competitors you also want you want that you want them to be out there. And then the final tip I would say is to make sure that you’re really appropriately trainee your staff in any person at all you communicates with your consumers because although a small business owner most of us come with the passion of what we want to do all of our employees are not the same and so sometimes your business might be misunderstood because an employee there are presented as well and so encourage small business owners to take the time to train their employees on what your business expectations are on the standards not only how you create a custom about how you service a customer your follow through with a customer if there’s any sort of challenge that might arise how do they go about Him million of situations and the communication isn’t just in store or face to face but it’s also via e-mail via social media and believe it or not be a text and so the perception that people have from you isn’t just coming from you alone coming from the people that shape your brand in your business and I would encourage you to set some pretty high bar what that means the last is very consistent with the findings of our Future of Advertising Project that suggests the real importance of having the same experience in all touch points that a consumer has so that would be great so that’s a really critical concept and thank you that’s a that’s a wonderful way to to end up 6
SegmentHandler this segment Nicole thank you I want to thank you so much for joining us today it’s been a pleasure to have you thanks Nichelle Yes Thank you guys and if our listeners want to learn about you Nicole and Small Business Saturday where can they find you on line. Up sorry we missed Nicole but you know you can go to American Express’s Small Business Saturday. Up site to to get more information about that when we come back we’ll have neighborhood champion Liz Coons here of Ambler of Main Street here in the Philadelphia area you’re listening to marketing matters I’m Catherine Hayes I’m here with Jerry wind and this is business radio powered by the Wharton School and Sirius X.M. want to Levon Stay tuned.